City of Toronto Regulation of Short-Term Rentals

As many of our readers will know, the City of Toronto has passed amendments to its zoning by-law, specifically for the purpose of regulating short-term rentals in the City of Toronto. Many landlords appealed the by-law amendments to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).  On November 18, 2019, LPAT dismissed the appeals (and upheld the City’s zoning amendments).  As a result, the City of Toronto has indicated its intention to go ahead and implement the new requirements (but the timing of such is yet to be confirmed).

The key purposes of the Toronto by-law amendments are listed on the City of Toronto’s website:

  • Short-term rentals are permitted across the city in all housing types in residential and the residential component of mixed-use zones.
  • People can host short-term rentals in their principal residence only – both homeowners and tenants can participate.
  • People can rent up to three bedrooms or entire residence.
  • People who live in secondary suites can also participate, as long as the secondary suite is their principal residence.
  • An entire home can be rented as a short-term rental if owner/tenant is away – to a maximum of 180 nights per year.
  • People who rent their homes short term must register with the City and pay $50.
  • Companies such as Airbnb must pay a one-time license application fee of $5,000 plus $1 for each night booked through the company.
  • People doing short-term rentals must pay a 4 per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on all rentals that are less than 28 consecutive days.
  • Companies such as Airbnb can enter into voluntary agreements to collect the MAT on behalf of those associated with their company.

The City of Ottawa is currently considering similar regulations for short-term rentals.

In addition to regulations similar to those in the City of Toronto, the proposals currently under consideration by the City of Ottawa would give condominiums and landlords a way to exclude hosts at specific addresses from registering (for short-term rental) when short-term rental is “not allowed by condominium charter or rental lease”.  [In my view, the “charter” should include the Rules of the condominium, because Ontario law clearly allows condominiums to prohibit short-term rentals by way of Rule (in most cases).]

Anyway, the bottom line is as follows:  This successful result for the City of Toronto will come as great news to the City of Ottawa (and other municipalities) that are considering such regulations.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!